Menopause isn’t exactly a time in life women look forward to… Hormone changes can bring on hot flashes, sleep problems, and more. But once you’re well-versed in menopause facts, you can put together a plan to sail through this transition in stride.
Every woman will experience menopause in her own way. You can’t compare how you feel with someone else.
Here are a few basic facts about menopause women should know:
- You’ve hit menopause after you go 12 months without a period. Because periods can be irregular in the years leading up to menopause, you won’t know you’ve reached it until you’ve gone a year without menstruating. Menopause means your ovaries have stopped producing estrogen.
- On average, menopause occurs around age 51. Most women will have their last period sometime between ages 45 and 55, reports the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
- Menopause before 40 is considered early menopause. This might run in your family or could be a result of a medical condition, such as an abnormal thyroid or a rheumatic disease such as lupus. Chemotherapy and radiation can also damage the ovaries and bring on early menopause. If you have your ovaries removed as part of a medical treatment, you will begin early menopause right away.
- The years leading up to your last period are called perimenopause. Fluctuating estrogen levels can begin in your thirties or forties, during the transition from menstruating regularly to not menstruating at all. The most common sign is an irregular period, meaning your cycles may become longer or shorter or become heavier or lighter. You might also skip periods.
- Symptoms include hot flashes and weight gain. The most well-known symptom of menopause, the hot flash, is an intense feeling of warmth that can last a few seconds or several minutes. When this happens while you’re sleeping, it’s called night sweats. Other possible symptoms of menopause include sleep problems, vaginal dryness, mood changes, headaches, and problems with memory. Some women experience these symptoms during perimenopause, while others don’t experience them until after they’ve stopped menstruating. Some symptoms, such as hot flashes and memory issues, may go away after you reach menopause.
- Menopause leads to bone loss. This is due to the loss of estrogen. In fact, women may experience as much as a 20 percent drop in bone density in the five to seven years after menopause, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF). Osteoporosis is a silent and serious disease, but it is preventable. Get calcium in your diet, add weight-bearing exercise to your routine, check your vitamin D levels, and ask your doctor to check your bone density according to NOF guidelines.
- Risk for heart disease rises after menopause. Estrogen offers protection against heart attack and stroke. The drop in estrogen during menopause means your risk of heart disease may increase, especially if you have high cholesterol and high blood pressure and aren’t active. This is another reason to make healthy habits a top priority.
- Lifestyle boosts can help you feel better. Exercise helps to slow the loss of bone after menopause and keep your weight in check. It also increases natural endorphins, which could help with mood changes and irritability. Other healthy habits, such as eating well, are also crucial at this time of life. We recommend the Manna Diet as a healthy lifestyle-type diet. Also to start using the Manna Menopause Support supplement, because this supplement can help to increase estrogen levels the natural way without any side effects.
Focusing on these and other positives and viewing menopause as a normal part of life should help you breeze through these years.